The NFL just announced that nine players in their first year of eligibility are among the list of 129 Modern-Era Nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023.
The list of first-time nominees includes running back Chris Johnson, Philadelphia native Jahri Evans, offensive linemen Joe Thomas, defensive lineman Dwight Freeney, linebackers NaVorro Bowman and James Harrison, defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Darrelle Revis, and punter Shane Lechler.
The list of Modern-Era Nominees will be reduced to 25 Semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 Finalists whose names will be announced in early January.
Here’s the list of 14 former Eagles among the nominees.
No. 6: Randall Cunningham 4,482 rushing yards
Cunningham spent his first 11 seasons with the Eagles, helping pave the way for how the quarterback position is played today.
A second-round pick out of UNLV in 1985, Cunningham finished his Eagles career with under 30,000 passing yards and just under 5,000 rushing yards while compiling an 82-52-1 record in 135 starts with Philadelphia.
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McNabb is currently the Eagles’ all-time leading passer and a member of the Philadelphia Eagles ring of honor, meaning he’s in the franchise’s Hall of Fame. The former Syracuse star had a successful career and the fortune to play in four straight NFC title games (five altogether).
McNabb posted an impressive 101-56-1 record as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. His 1-5 record in championship games is likely why he has struggled to gain more Hall of Fame momentum.
Besides his impressive overall record, McNabb is the Eagles’ all-time leader in attempts (2,801), Completions (4,746), passing yards (32,873), and touchdowns (216).
No. 7: Ricky Watters 3,794 rushing yards
Best known for his “For Who, For What” comments after a season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his first game with the Eagles, Watters signed a three-year, $6.9 million offer sheet in 1995 and became one of the biggest signings in franchise history.
The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native was the highest-paid player in Eagles history (at the time), making $3.5 million in the first year of the deal.
Watters started all 48 games played in an Eagles uniform, rushing 975 times for 3,794 yards and 31 touchdowns while posting 1,318 receiving yards and a touchdown. In two of his three seasons in Philadelphia, Watters was selected to two Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams (1995 and 1996).
Watters finished his NFL career with 10,643 yards and 57 touchdowns, along with 467 catches for 4,248 yards and 17 touchdowns.
He was a five-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro selection.
No. 3: Brian Westbrook 5,995 rushing yards
A dual threat for the Eagles, Westbrook logged 1,385 carries for 6,335 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 4.6 yards per carry average.
Westbrook made two Pro Bowl teams during his career, and in 2007, he led the league in yards from scrimmage (total rushing and receiving yards) with a mark of 2,104.
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During his 17 seasons in the league, Fryar caught touchdown passes from an NFL-record 19 different quarterbacks.
After stints with the Patriots, Dolphins, Eagles, and Washington, Fryar retired with 851 receptions, 12,785 yards, 84 touchdowns, and five career Pro Bowl appearances.
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On July 19, 1994, he was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles but was released on August 30 before embarking on a solid NFL career.
Smith finished his career seventh in NFL history with 862 catches and 11th in league history with 12,287 yards. He had 67 career touchdown catches with the Jaguars, getting voted to the Pro Bowl five straight times from 1997 to 2001. He is also the Jacksonville Jaguars’ all-time leading receiver, having led the team in receiving every season from 1996-2005.
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Simmons played from 1986 to 2000 during his career with the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Simmons recorded 121.5 quarterback sacks in his career.
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Drafted in the 1988 selection process out of Arizona State, Allen spent the first seven years of his career in Philadelphia, logging 34 of his 54 career interceptions during his seven seasons with the Eagles.
Allen shares the franchise record in interceptions with Bill Bradley and Brian Dawkins.
The cornerback is most remembered for a pick-six in the Eagles’ 1992 playoff win over the Saints, and Allen’s ten career INT returns for touchdowns are fifth-most in NFL history.
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